Public Relations

Advisory Council Advisory Council

The Department of Public Relations Advisory Council is a group of industry professionals that provides regular advice and counsel to faculty, staff and students of the Department of Public Relations at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. It advises Department educators, administrators and future public relations professionals about the direction of, changes in and needs of the public relations discipline. This includes, but is not limited to, input about curriculum, careers, professional development, funding and research opportunities to advance individual and Department goals.

Jeannie Clary – Chair

Public Relations Consultant – J. Clary Public Relations, LLC

Jeannie Clary

Jeannie Clary is an independent public relations consultant, providing strategic communications expertise to a broad scope of private and public companies across industries. She works with PR and marketing agencies as an integrated team member, providing clients with branding expertise and strategic direction, in addition to implementing award-winning communication campaigns. Jeannie has garnered top-tier results for clients through media relations, social media, community relations, integrated branding campaigns, public affairs and crisis communications. Prior to starting her consultancy, Jeannie served on account teams at Weber Shandwick, Just Drive Media, and Fortune 1000 companies and boutique agencies in Atlanta and Tampa. A proud alumna of UF’s Department of Public Relations, Jeannie has also served as an adjunct lecturer in the department since Fall 2021.

Rachel Barclay

Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing – CHEP North America

Rachel Barclay

Since her time as a UF PR Gator, Rachel has worked in a variety of industries spanning the PR and marketing disciplines including time in agency, corporate and non-profit settings. She currently serves as senior manager, integrated marketing for CHEP North America where she oversees a team who manages external communications and customer touchpoints.

A proud Gator alumna, Rachel lives in Atlanta and also serves on the Atlanta Gator Club board.

Bridget Braxton

SVP, Head of Regional Communications – Wells Fargo

Bridget Braxton

Spanning a PR career of more than 20 years, Bridget Braxton has a diverse background with experience at internal public relations agencies and Fortune 500 global corporations.

Currently, Bridget serves as senior vice president, corporate communications for Wells Fargo Regional Banking which serves customers in 39 states and Washington D.C.  In this role, she leads a team of 30+ public relations professionals who manage local market communications for Wells Fargo’s 80+ businesses.

Throughout her tenure with Wells Fargo, Bridget has held communications leadership roles in Eastern Regional Banking, Corporate HR, Digital Channels (online and mobile banking) and the Technology and Operations Group.

Bridget is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts in Communication.

Jano Cabrera

Chief Communications Officer – General Mills

Jano Cabrera is the Chief Communications Officer for General Mills where he oversees the entirety of communications for the company.

Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for the McDonald’s Corporation where he focused on strengthening the company’s brand reputation, driving consumer engagement and overseeing global media relations. Previously, Jano served as Worldwide Vice President for Burson-Marsteller.

Prior to Burson-Marsteller, Jano founded Carthage Group Communications, a strategic communications, government affairs and issue advocacy firm. The firm advised the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Grameen Bank and America Votes, the nation’s then largest political action organization.

Chris Chiames

CCO – Carnival Cruise Line

Chris Chiames

Chris Chiames is chief communications officer for Carnival Cruise Line. He previously held executive positions at American Airlines, US Airways, Orbitz Worldwide and Sabre, and led the travel and tourism public affairs practice at Burson-Marsteller. Chris holds a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Fresno, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has been honored by the Public Relations Society of America and the California State University, Fresno School of Mass Communications, among others and is a member of the Arthur Page Society for senior communications executives.

Rob Clark

Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer – Caris Life Sciences

Rob Clark

Rob Clark is the Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Caris Life Sciences. He previously served as the head of Global Communications at ExxonMobil, Chief Communications Officer at Medtronic and VP of Healthcare Modernization for Optum, the IT support business of UnitedHealth Group. He led public policy and related communications initiatives on key areas such as data security and privacy; interoperability of health systems; and new payment methodologies and systems. Additional executive assignments included creating and leading Medtronic’s Corporate State Government Affairs group, which was responsible for state advocacy programs across the US and leadership of the Corporate Public and Media Relations program. Rob has also held Communications and Government Affairs leadership positions with ADC Telecommunications, Digi International and Acterna. He also served in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve.

Travis Claytor, APR

President/Owner – TC Strategic Communications

Travis ClaytorTravis has developed and executed national and international integrated strategic communications plans around some of the world’s top media events, including the NFL Super Bowl and Republican National Convention and developed communications campaigns for organizations like Feld Entertainment and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Travis has also led crisis and reputation management for brands like SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. In 2019 Travis launched TC Strategic Communications, which combines a passion for strategic solutions with integrated communications to engage audiences. Travis earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida, and his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.

Steve Cody

CEO and Founder – Peppercomm

Steve Cody

Steve Cody is the founder and CEO of Peppercomm, a strategic communications firm headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco and London. In addition to leading business development and thought leadership for the firm, Steve also oversees every aspect of the business. He serves on multiple boards and PR trade groups including the Institute for Public Relations, The Page Society, The Forbes Council and Communications Week’s Advisory Board.

Reynaldo J. Delgado

Senior Brand Marketing & Communications Strategist, Independent Consultant & Freelancer

Reynaldo J. Delgado

Reynaldo J. Delgado is a seasoned public relations executive passionate about making connections. With a keen eye for detail, he is a master at helping clients develop purpose-driven, impactful and meaningful communications campaigns which are measurable and aligned with business goals and objectives. With more than 13 years experience working for an array of clients – from startups to global brands – Reynaldo has led the development and execution of award winning, strategic communications marketing programs for clients throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe, building a relationship-driven network of contacts across media, influencers, KOLs and peers.

Craig Dezern

SVP, Global Head Communications – Hilton

Craig DezernCraig Dezern is Senior Vice President & Global Head Communications at Hilton, leading the global team responsible for protecting and elevating Hilton’s reputation, driving consumer and brand communications, inspiring and engaging Team Members, and connecting owners and other stakeholders with Hilton’s purpose and business goals.

Before joining Hilton, Dezern spent more than 20 years as a communications leader at the Walt Disney Company. Prior to that, Dezern was an award-winning journalist for The Orlando Sentinel, earning national accolades for feature writing, environmental reporting and public service.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dezern earned a BA from Western Kentucky University, and an MSL from Yale Law School.

Brian Ellis

Executive Vice President – Padilla

Brian EllisBrian serves as the strategic leader of Padilla’s Corporate Advisory Group and also leads the agency’s crisis management and executive training consultancy. As a former journalist, Brian has offered a unique perspective on how the media operates during a crisis to such clients as Winnebago, Mastercard, CommonSpirit Health, and The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Brian has been a guest speaker at numerous national conferences including PRSA International Conference, AAPA Communications Conference, and the International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference. Prior to joining Padilla, Brian was an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter, anchor and producer. Brian comes from a family of Florida Gators spanning three generations. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism.

Tina Elmowitz

Executive Vice President, Partner – rbb Communications

Tina ElmowitzDriving big headlines and creating attention-grabbing events for national brands, Tina Elmowitz leads rbb Communications’ consumer practice. As a 24-year veteran, Tina has been instrumental in developing and executing award-winning client campaigns, including Hampton by Hilton, Bank of America, Disney on Ice, M&M’s and Miami Marlins. Tina also drives rbb’s talent management to ensure best practices carry through to staff development and overall satisfaction. She believes that happy employees create happy clients. rbb Communications consistently ranks among the nation’s top communications firms and is often honored by top business organizations as a “Best Place to Work.” Tina graduated from UF’s School of Journalism, is a member of The Commonwealth Institute’s Broward Forum and has guest lectured at University of Miami, Florida International University and Florida Memorial University.

Ann Fahey-Widman, APR

President and CEO – Monarch Communications

Ann Fahey-WidmanAnn Fahey-Widman, APR, is president and CEO of Monarch Communications, LLC, a communications consulting and media/messaging coaching firm. A nationally award-winning communications practitioner, Ann has more than 30 years of experience developing and leading strategic corporate communications and reputation management programs for FORTUNE 500 companies, as well as for associations and non-profit organizations. She spent the last 15+ years managing corporate communications efforts for major health care/pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer/Hospira, Medline and Abbott. She has also led communications efforts for consumer packaged goods brands including for the iconic Kellogg Company.

Lorne Fisher

CEO and Managing Partner – Fish Consulting

Lorne FisherLorne Fisher is CEO and Managing Partner of Fish Consulting, a national public relations agency based in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Founded in 2004, Fish handles communications strategies for a variety of nationally recognized brands including Dunkin’, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, UFC Gym and more. The agency’s core services range from national consumer and business media relations, franchisee recruitment and internal communications to crisis communications and social influencer marketing. Lorne has worked in communications for nearly 30 years and graduated from the University of Florida. Prior to launching the agency, Lorne worked for Ketchum, a global PR firm based in NY, and in-house with Visa and Absolut Vodka.

Robyn Hankerson-Printemps

Community Relations Manager – Publix Supermarkets Inc, Miami Division

Robyn Hankerson

Robyn Hankerson-Printemps is a strategic communications professional with 15 years of experience in public relations and marketing. She is currently a Community Relations Manager for Publix Super Markets, covering the east coast of Florida from Monroe to Brevard County.

Robyn, a UF graduate, has extensive experience in community and university relations. Prior to her role at Publix, she was the Public Information Officer for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the Director of Communications and Media Relations at Johnson and Wales University, where she created communications strategies to enhance and ensure consistency of the university’s brand and image through traditional public relations efforts, social media engagement and marketing initiatives. She has also held positions at the Urban League of Broward County, Bitner Goodman and United Way of Broward County.

Erin B. Hart

Chief Innovation Officer – Spitfire

Erin B. Hart

With goals of racial, social and environmental justice, Erin trains and teaches, builds campaigns and manages day-to-day communications on subjects as varied as super pollutants and violence prevention in her role at Spitfire. She’s worked to grow and diversify the healthcare workforce, prevent youth from using tobacco, help smokers quit, increase access to higher education and secure policymaker support that conserves habitat, ensures clean drinking water and supports a safe climate. When UFCJC began its work developing the public interest communications field, she was thrilled to return to her alma mater to help think through courses, launch frank and learn from researchers around the world. A first-generation college student, Erin credits her parents for prioritizing education and making it possible for her, and she recognizes her journalism degree as the foundation for her communication skills and commitment to public interest. Erin received UFCJC’s Alumna of Distinction Award, and she teaches strategic communication, public interest communications and campaign planning in several university programs – but says, “Go Gators!” no matter where she is.

Bill Imada

Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer – IW Group, Inc.

Bill Imada

Bill Imada thoroughly enjoys finding ways to connect others to what’s really important in life. The best way to describe his personal brand is “always.” Bill is always curious about people and what motivates them. He is always learning. He is always discovering new ways to approach a challenge. And, he’s always looking for others to share and be purposeful in life.

Bill co-founded IW Group three decades ago and focus on the growing multicultural and cross-generational markets. His areas of expertise include marketing, advertising, public relations, cross-cultural communications, crisis management, training and development, and community relations. He believes strongly in civic engagement and civil discourse and have co-founded four different national organizations. He is also a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and problem solver who strives to be intentional in making our world a better place for all.

Rachel Katz

Co-founder – The Brand Set, CEO and Founder – Starbright Wine

Rachel KatzRachel Katz has built a career managing the marketing and PR for some of the strongest hospitality brands in the industry, in addition to consulting with emerging brands through her efforts at RBK + Co and The Brand Set. Upon graduating from UF with a BS in PR, Rachel moved to NYC to join Baltz & Company, before taking in-house roles with restaurant groups in Charlotte and New York City, overseeing the PR and Marketing efforts for international hospitality brands. Today, Rachel is the co-founder of a strategic marketing and brand collective, The Brand Set, and is the founder and CEO of Starbright Wine, an online wine retailer based in Atlanta, GA.

Rena Langley

SVP, Communications and Public Affairs, Walt Disney World

Rena Langley

Rena Langley is the senior vice president of Communications and Public Affairs for Walt Disney World Resort. This encompasses several departments including public relations, government relations and corporate citizenship. In addition, Rena leads internal communications for more than 64,000 Walt Disney World Cast Members.

Rena has been with Disney for 24 years and has also led public affairs for Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney. She graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and started her career as a newspaper reporter before pursuing a career in the public relations and public affairs arena.

Greg Mondshein

Cofounder & Managing Partner – SourceCode Communication

Greg MondsheinGreg Mondshein is an accomplished communications professional with more than 13 years of experience advising technology brands. He’s the co-founder and managing partner of SourceCode Communications, recently named New Agency of the Year, fastest growing and seventh most creative agency in the world by PRovoke. The agency is also the 2020 PRWeek Boutique Agency of the Year and a Best Places to Work honoree. Personally, Greg was named a 2020 PRWeek 40 under 40 honoree, co-chair of the PR Council’s first ever Next Board, a 2020 Scholar with The Marketing Academy and named a 2019 Top 25 PR Innovator in North America by PRovoke. Mondshein is a former Ironman triathlete, summited Mount Kilimanjaro and is raising his two daughters, Penelope & Amelia, with his wife just outside of NYC.

Charles Nicolas

Cofounder and Managing Partner – LEVEE COMMUNICATIONS

Charles Nicolas

Charles Nicolas is co-founder and managing partner of Levee Communications, an agency supporting established and emerging companies in all aspects of communications.

Approaching 30 years of communications experience domestically and internationally, Charles spent most of his career working for PepsiCo, Tenet Healthcare and Burger King Corporation. He has a proven track record of success within these companies as well as consulting in industries as wide-ranging as technology, chemicals, coatings, and retail.

Recognized as a trusted counselor to C-suite leaders on communication strategies and regarded by colleagues as a creative problem solver with a strategic, results driven and high integrity approach to work, he’s grateful for the lasting friendships and lessons learned throughout his career. Charles’ biggest source of pride are his wife of 20-plus years and two children, who all live in Frisco, Texas.

Andy Polansky

Chairman and CEO – IPG DXTRA and Executive Chairman – Weber Shandwick

Andy Polansky

Andy is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IPG DXTRA, a collective of 27 of Interpublic Group’s (IPG) specialty marketing firms across a variety of areas, including public relations, sports and entertainment marketing, experiential, brand consulting, digital marketing and healthcare communications.

Andy also serves as Executive Chairman of Weber Shandwick, after serving as CEO from 2012 to 2019.  Under his leadership, Weber Shandwick was named Agency of the Decade by PRovoke Media and was PR Week’s Global Agency of the Year from 2015 to 2018.

Andy was a recent recipient of the 2022 Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication. In 2019, he was inducted into the PR Week Hall of Fame and honored with the John W. Hill Award, which recognizes professional achievement in public relations, from the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, he received the Alexander Hamilton Award from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), the organization’s highest award for lifetime achievement.

Deb Prieto-Green

Founder and Principal Strategist, Fire For Effect Strategies, LLC

Deb Prieto-Green

Deb Prieto-Green is the founder of Fire For Effect Strategies, delivering marketing and communication advisory services from strategies to tactics for business. Previously, she was Senior Director of Communications for L3Harris Technologies, responsible for strategic marketing, media relations and communication efforts for space and airborne defense markets. Before joining L3Harris, Deb was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Corporate Communications for the Federal Aviation Administration, and was responsible for the FAA’s brand and corporate voice, employee engagement and executive communications and led change management for strategic objectives. Previously, she served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Deb earned a Master of Arts in National Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University, and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Miami.

Oscar Suris

President, Edelman New York

Oscar Suris

Oscar Suris is President of Edelman New York, the largest market operation at the global integrated communications company. Prior to joining Edelman, Oscar was Executive Managing Director, Crisis and C-Suite Strategies, at Zeno Group. His Corporate Communications experience includes 20 years of providing strategic counsel to Fortune 100 companies, including serving as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications at Wells Fargo & Company, and senior leadership roles at Ford Motor Company and AutoNation, Inc.

Oscar also is a veteran of the newspaper industry, having served five years as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and reporting business news in staff roles for The Miami News and The Orlando Sentinel. He also served as the executive assistant to the Publisher of The Miami Herald Publishing Co.

A Cuban native, Oscar is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has been named six times to PRWeek’s “Power List” of the top 50 professionals in public relations.

Mark Weiner

Chief Insights Officer, PublicRelay

Mark Weiner

Mark Weiner helps PublicRelay clients make better data-informed communications and business decisions. Mark’s newest book, “PR Technology, Data and Insights” was named one of the top three new PR books for 2022 and among the top 100 of all time.

He serves as a member of The Arthur Page Society, a Trustee of The Museum of Public Relations and a Director of The Institute for Public Relations (IPR), for which he is the immediate past chair of the Measurement Commission. Mark is the 2018 recipient of the Jack Felton Medal awarded by the IPR for lifetime achievement in communications research.

Before joining Cognito in 2021, Mark was the CEO of PRIME Research which was acquired by Cision in 2018, Mark led Ketchum’s Global Research practice before which he was SVP at Cision and CEO of Delahaye, the PR research firm he founded as Medialink Research in 1994.